Why Don’t Cockroaches Die In The Microwave Oven

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Imagine warming your food in the microwave after a long day. But, as soon as you open the door, tiny creatures are crawling on it. It just made your day worse. But a thought must have crossed your mind: why don’t cockroaches die in the microwave oven?

Cockroaches are hardy insects. They do not produce any body heat and can change their body temperature according to their surroundings. Also, cockroaches have little to no body water. So they can survive in the microwave for a long time.

You can get rid of roaches from your microwave if you know all the reasons for infestation. To learn more about it, continue reading. 

Four Reasons That Cockroaches Can Survive In Your Microwave?

Your kitchen is a favorite place for cockroaches. They prefer to live in the dark with nearby food sources. So, appliances like microwaves make an ideal place for them to hide. A microwave is an essential kitchen appliance for heating and cooking food. Invasion of cockroaches in it can be a nightmare for you. Worse, cockroaches can survive for a long time in a running microwave. Heat and electric current has no impact. Below are a few reasons explaining it. 

Roaches Have Less Body Water 

Microwaves work by agitating the water molecules in the food. The food item that you place in the microwave must have water molecules. The heat disrupts the pattern of these molecules, causing them to warm up.

Cockroaches have little to no body water content. Their moisture level is so low that they can survive without water for at least a week. So, the microwave oven will have no impact on cockroaches. It doesn’t have enough water molecules that the heat waves from the microwave oven can vibrate and damage them.

Cold Blooded Insect 

Cockroaches are cold-blooded creatures. That means they depend on the temperature of their environment to increase or decrease their body heat. In the cold surroundings, they remain motionless. It is to save their energy for the food search. But, in a warm environment, they will absorb the heat from their surroundings. It will increase their body temperature to almost the same as the surroundings or enough to help them with food search.

So, it means the microwave does not affect cockroaches. Their body temperature rises with the microwave temperature. Thus, cockroaches can naturally protect themselves against heat.

Thick Skelton 

Cockroaches have an exoskeleton or outer skeleton. It makes them the strong insect in the world. In fact, some roaches can live for days without a head. They can also survive for a long time underwater. The most surprising fact about cockroaches is that they can survive a nuclear bomb.

Their skeleton has slow cell reproduction. It enables them to live through radiation for a longer time than humans can. So, if they can live through nuclear radiation, microwave radiation will probably have no effect. 

Many Compartments Of The Microwave Oven

The microwave oven has several compartments. Contrary to the common belief, not all the oven compartments are hot while working. Around 4 to 5 metal lines emit heat and radiation to the center. Other sections of your microwave are cold. So, it makes it livable for cockroaches. When you start the microwave, roaches will hide in the cold parts with less radiation. Thus, cockroaches can live inside your oven for a long time without you realizing it. 

How To Get Rid Of Cockroaches From Your Microwave?

Cockroaches in your kitchen can be a nightmare, let alone in the microwave. Your microwave oven offers them easy access to food and water. Cockroaches are not just going to live in your microwave oven but can also spread diseases. The most common disease that roaches spread is diarrhea. Worst, it is transmitted to humans via food. So, it is better to take the essential steps before it is too late. 

  • Deep clean the microwave oven to get rid of food crumbs and grease. Cleaning the microwave will force cockroaches to look for another food source. 
  • Use a DIY solution to wipe it clean from the inside out. Cockroaches hate sharp-smelling compounds like citrus and vinegar. But avoid using compounds like bleach.
  • Microwaving a glass bowl with a few slices of lemons for ten minutes will force roaches to move out. 
  • The easy way to remove grease from the glass dish is to soak it in a soapy water mixture for an hour. 
  • Cockroaches can leave behind eggs and their shells. To kill them, clean the oven door and plastic interior with white vinegar, baking soda, and water solution. 
  • Place a diatomaceous earth trap surrounding the microwave oven to kill the cockroaches that can cross over. 
  • Set bait traps along with food particles inside the oven. The baits can kill a colony of cockroaches as roaches feed on their dead ones.
  • You can also take your microwave apart to clean all parts individually. But chances are you might not be able to put it back together. 
  • Finally, contact pest services if you cannot control their population by cleaning and DIYs. They will eliminate roaches in less than a day. 

Can Cockroaches Ruin A Microwave?

Yes, Cockroaches can ruin your microwave and destroy your health. According to the research, cockroaches carry many bacterias inside their gut, which are dangerous to human health. They shed these bacteria from their body secretions. So, cockroaches are not only unsanitary but can also damage the inner settings of the oven. 

Microwave Oven

They can wear down essential parts like wirings and other electrical components. A colony of roaches can damage the wiring to the point that it can lead to short circuits or malfunctioning cables. The cockroaches can fail the heating element by nesting near it. They can also damage the radiation components of the oven.

How To Prevent Cockroaches From Invading Your Microwave Again?

Microwave is an ideal nesting place for cockroaches. It provides them with plenty of hiding spots and many flavors of food. If you do not remove them, they will live there for a long time. When there is an infestation in a microwave oven, your first priority must be to remove them. Cockroaches never stay in one place. They will eventually move from the microwave oven and spread into the house. So, to avoid reinfection, take precautions. Below are a few tips to help you.

  • Keep your kitchen clean. Your kitchen might be the favorite place for cockroaches, as it provides them with food.
  • Cover all the waste bins and take your trash out daily. Piles of garbage attract roaches more than anything. 
  • Wipe clean all the surfaces at least once a day. Food crumbs on kitchen counters are an easy food source. 
  • Never keep pet food bowls near the kitchen. Also, wash them daily with bleach. 
  • Clean all the appliances inside out every alternative day. Appliances like microwaves and toasters can be the favorite nesting place for roaches. 
  • Fix plumbing issues around your house. Leaking faucets or pipes can attract roaches into your home in the first place. 
  • Seal the holes in the doors and windows of the kitchen. Cockroaches can crawl inside from the tiny spaces.
  • Get rid of all the paper clutter like cardboard boxes from the pantry and drawers.


Microwave is an ideal nesting place for roaches. It provides them with shelter, food, and water. The best part is they can stay hidden for a long time without anyone realizing it. They can live in the oven without any problems. Cockroaches are hardy insects. The radiation and heat in the microwave oven have no impact on their body. In fact, they can live through nuclear radiation. So, your microwave oven is no problem for them. You must remove them instantly as soon as you spot one. You can use DIY methods or call for pest control. But remember, daily cleaning is the permanent solution against cockroaches.


Can I Use A Microwave With Roaches In It?

It is better to avoid using a microwave with roaches in it. Cockroaches carry bacteria in their gut, which they release from their secretions. Also, cockroaches can take a bite from your food without you realizing it. So, it is dangerous to use a microwave oven with a cockroach infestation in it. 

How Long Can A Cockroach Survive In A Microwave

Cockroaches can live in the microwave for weeks. Microwave provides them with shelter, food, and water. So they can hide in there for a long time. Radiation and heat in the microwave oven have no impact on them. They have thick skeletons and can absorb the surrounding heat to increase their body temperature. Contrary to belief, microwaves also have blind spots. Cockroaches can stay there while it is working.

Why Are There Cockroaches In My Microwave?

Just like other animals, roaches also look for a nesting place near food. So, the microwave is an ideal place for them to live. Cockroaches also prefer to live in dark places. So, your microwave can become their next favorite hiding place if you do not clean it regularly. So, food particles and grease attract them to your microwave oven. 

Can I Spray Insecticide In A Microwave Oven?

No. Avoid using insecticide, which contains harsh chemicals inside the microwave oven. Instead, you can use DIYs and baits. Insecticides might kill roaches instantly. But they are equally dangerous for humans. They can also damage electrical wiring and the inside of the oven. It can also stop the glass plate from turning. 


Guzman, J., Vilcinskas, A. Bacteria associated with cockroaches: health risk or biotechnological opportunity?. Appl Microbiol Biotechnol 104, 10369–10387 (2020).